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Summary:

It will probably come as no surprise to WebWorkerDaily readers that a recent survey found that 70 percent of information workers don’t believe status meetings help them accomplish work tasks. Additionally, almost 40 percent of respondents feel that such meetings are a waste of time.

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It will probably come as no surprise to WebWorkerDaily readers that a recent survey found that 70 percent of information workers don’t believe status meetings help them accomplish work tasks. Additionally, almost 40 percent of respondents feel that such meetings are a waste of time, even though 55 percent of respondents spend one to three hours per week attending such meetings.

The survey also found that 67 percent of respondents spend between one to four hours per week just preparing for status meetings, and 59 percent said that preparing for status meetings often takes longer than the meeting itself. In addition, 57 percent of those surveyed indicated that they multitask during status meetings — so maybe there’s more work getting done than one might think!

The survey was conducted online within the United States from June 6–8, among 2,373 information workers. It was undertaken by Harris Interactive on behalf of Clarizen, the project management system that Thursday covered a few months ago. The survey defined a status meeting as one in which team members are updated on progress and completion of tasks. Brainstorming, strategy and planning meetings were not included.

If you’re finding your meetings unproductive, there are a number of tools available to help, including meetin.gs and yaM. Many of the project management apps that we cover are intended, among other things, to help keep team members updated on project status and what their colleagues are doing and so reduce the time spent in meetings. And there are some techniques, like the Google system that Imran reported on last year, for making meetings more productive.

How much time do you spend in meetings? Are they productive?

Photo by stock.xchng user wagg66

  1. Matthew Frederick Wednesday, June 29, 2011

    Seems like the results are as obvious as the question: of course status meetings don’t help non-managers get work done because that’s not what they’re for. Status meetings are for bringing project managers and upper management up to speed on a project. Why would anyone think they were about getting work done?

    They’re almost always a tremendous waste of everyone’s time, mind you, but if you want to find out how useful they are you need to ask the right people the right question.

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  2. any meeting with over 3 participants (or 10 ppt slides) is public masterbation! send me the summary please!!”

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  3. Your spot on Matthew. One has to question the discipline and experience of the companies that these people worked at. If a status meeting is run incorrectly than it will be ineffective, and one might even extend this subject to say that just about all meetings that are not managed correctly are a waste of time.

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  4. I totally agree with the results of the survey. Even though a little obvious, as Matthew said, companies continue to spend hours on update meetings. They should rethink their ideas and routine and work towards something more productive.

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